|About ORBRC - Club History|
TENNESSEE'S FIRST BREAKFAST ROTARY CLUB
Our club banner depicts the hills and water of
East Tennessee and highlights the
sculpture donated by ORBRC to the City of Oak Ridge in the mid-1990s.
The Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club was organized in April 1980 with the assistance of Red Williams, a member of Oak Ridge Rotary Club and District Governor of District 6780.
ORBRC was officially chartered at a meeting at the Elk’s Club on the evening of June 27, 1980, as the state’s first breakfast Rotary club.
Ken Sommerfeld was installed as the first president. The other officers installed that evening were: Clyde Hopkins, Vice President and Director of Club Service; Tom Southard, Secretary; Karl Butcher, Treasurer; Chuck Spath, Director of Vocational Service; Ewin Kiser, Director of International Service; Keith Cole, Director of Community Service; Clark Meredith, Director at Large; and Keith Craft, Sergeant at Arms.
The club had 33 charter members. In addition to the officers listed above, other members were Jeff Bostock, Jim Bryson, Charles Campbell, Dale Channell, Dave Coffey, Richard Dew, Jerry Duncan, Bill Feldkamp, Jeff Friar, Tim Friar, Jim Hutson, Frank Jamison, Mickey McArthur, Dave McCoy, Jim McMahan, Jackie Pope, Roy Pruett, John Rhea, Tom Stanley, Rick Stooksbury, Robin Textor, Joe Williams, Travis Witherington, and Johnny Wray.
ORBRC has met in many local places since its birth in 1980, in keeping with many changes in the clbu and the community. Originally, the club met in the Ridge Inn, a local motel. From there it moved into a larger meeting room in the Holiday Inn. Neither of those motels exist today. The third meeting place was the Nancy Stanley room at the local YWCA. Next was the Cumberland Room at the Oak Ridge Mall. This was a great meeting room, but was lost when the Mall was sold and untilmately closed. We then met in the Wildcat Den, a meeting room in the Midtown Community Center, a renovated building of World War II vintage. From there, the club moved to the Event Center adjacent to the Flatwater Grill (now the Riverside Grill). This was a modern new facility, located on the Clinch River with beautiful views of the water and the countryside. Next came a much less expensive meeting place: the multi-purpose room in the Universalist Unitarian Church. That church was displaced when Kroger's Westcott Center was built, which led to the final move. It carried the club into the atrium of the Tech 20/20 buliding in Oak Ridge's Commerce Park, a very ncie facility quite suitable for Rotary Club meetings. Each of these several meeting places had a personality of its own. ORBRC has enjoyed each and all of them.
The culture of the club has always been one of fun and fellowship, support for Rotary programs, and community service. It is customary for many members to arrive 15-30 minutes early in order to enjoy coffee and conversation with other members and guests.. A full breakfast buffet is opened at 7 am. The agenda begins shortly before 7:30, with a song, the Pledge of Allegiance, and a prayer. Guests are welcomed. Club business is conducted. The "Rooster" then harasses the membership a bit, and opens the floor for "Happy Dollars." The speaker of the week is intorduced next. The meeting ends promptly at 8:15 am with recitation of Rotary's 4-Way Test. Often, many members remain afterwards, to enjoy more coffee and fellowship.
Over its lifetime, ORBRC has comprised some 400 members and has contributed approximately $400,000 to the Rotary Foundation. The club routinely meets the "Every Rotarian Every Yeaf" goal for support of that Foundation, and it partners with the ORBRC Foundation in supporting local charities. Currently, the membership hovers around 100 members, virtually all of whom are Paul Harris Fellows.
| 1980 Ken Sommerfeld1981 Clyde Hopkins
1982 Tom Southard
1983 Roy Pruett
1984 Frank Jamison
1985 Dave Coffey*
1986 Robin Textor*
1988 Dave McCoy
1987 Bill Thomas
1989 Tim Braaten
|1990 Mason Oakes1991 Bob Highfill*
1992 Bo Harris
1993 Dan Robbins*
1994 Ed Statzer*
1995 Wanda Craven
1996 Herman Postma
1997 Jo Ann Garrett*
1998 Jeff Bostock
1999 Dub Shults*
2000 Larry Dipboye
2001 Alex Zucker
2002 Lou Rabinowitz*
2009 Charles Crowe*
2010 Nancy Donsbach*
2011 Brenda Thornburgh*
2012 Pete Peterson*
2013 Austin Lance*
2014 Kelly Callison*
2015 Tony Lester*
2016 Emily Jernigan*
Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce/ Community Link